10/29/2014

by kat

I board my flight to New Zealand in an hour. The first night I am staying in a hostel and figuring out what I’ll be doing the test of the time from there. I’m excited as I’ve not done anything like this before. The spots that I really want to see are: Tongariro National Park, Lake Aniwhenua, and Rotorua.

Sydney was amazing. I’m officially mad at everyone in Melbourne who said I only needed a few days in Sydney because they were WRONG! State rivalries…

DAY 1:
Anyway, my friend Stella and I flew together. We got a hostel and put our stuff down and met an Irish guy named Seamus. He was cool and super helpful. We decided to not let any time go to waste so we set out exploring. We started at the night noodle market, which was full of Asian culture including one of those New Year dragon parades! It was super cool. We grabbed some gelato and took it all in. Our next stop was the Soda Factory, a 1950’s style bar. But it’s secret- prohibition style. The store front looks like a closed hotdog stand. Then you open the fridge and there it is! Really good food too: MAC AND CHEESE SPRING ROLLS. My friend Zach had studied in Sydney last year and had told me about the place, so I was really glad we found it! After dinner, we headed to Darling Harbor and watched the fireworks.

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DAY 2:
Stella and I woke up bright and early and went to HILLSONG! It was really cool and everyone was very warm and friendly, which was awesome to see, especially from such a big church. After the service, we caught the ferry to Manly Beach which I liked even more than Bondi. It had more of an islander feel to it because you had to take the ferry to get there. Plus on the way you get to see the Sydney Opera House from the water! We spent the day there and got Ben and Jerry’s. We then caught the ferry back, where we met some guys from Wales! We walked through the royal botanical gardens on our way back and ended up getting locked in! (Where of course, we then hopped the fence!) We decided to take it easy that night and grabbed some Lord of the Fries to eat back at the hostel and chat with Seamus.

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DAY 3:
Bondi Beach and fish and chips comprised our afternoon! And I finally found banana fritters in Sydney. I might have just had a major craving, but they also might have been the best I’ve ever had!
Afterwards, we took the train to Blacktowne where Mr. and Mrs. Pearce let us stay in their lovely home! Do you remember me telling you about Naomi a while back? Well these are her parents. They were INCREDIBLE hosts. They fed us and took us to the station as well as picked us up. It was nice staying with them, because I got some much needed family time (I miss that) as well as getting to know more of my brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the world!

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DAY 4:
Woke up and went to the Blue Mountains. Hiked from Katoomba to Leura and it was so beautiful. We saw Echo Point, the Three Sisters, as well as the Giant Staircase and the Leura Cascades.
However, we were stalked and then flashed so that was a little weird.

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DAY 5:
Today we took it easy and hung out with Grandpa. We ate breakfast and then went to the Christian book store, where we looked around and then he bought us coffee and cake. I’m sure I’ve gained some weight since staying with them! They’re so generous! He then dropped us off at the station where Stella and I went our separate ways.

Now I’m in the airport waiting for my flight. Here goes nothin! Hopefully it goes well. I’m sure it will. Not entirely sure what I’ll do… Debating flying down to the southern island for a few days to meet up with Stella again after I do some tramping.

Sorry if the pictures are l mixed up. I wrote this on my phone.

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